My brother gave me this photo of my mom this morning, asking me to keep it. I looked at the photo of her and my dad walking down the aisle not as bride and groom but as principal sponsors in a wedding. My mom was wearing flat shoes and I instantly thought, she was not very fashionable!
My mom went through a lot in the past. I mean when I was in grade school, she already had brain surgery. Probably her 9th surgery by then. Who in the world could have endured series of surgeries in her lifetime?
She was a CPA and an Accounting teacher before she had that operation. People respected her, and listened to what she had to say (or else they'd fail). I used to hear comments that my mom was a tough teacher, but it didn't bother me. I was even proud that her students gave a high regard when they heard my mom's name.
I heard all our close relatives worried about my mom. They said that there was a possibility that she could no longer remember any of us after the surgery, or she may totally lose her mobility, practically half-dead. All of us waited in anguish.
A particular story by my aunt marked on me. After the surgery, she checked on my mom on the recovery room, I suppose. She saw my mom opened her eyes and looked at her. She was praying God make her remember...make her remember... My mom lifted her hand slowly and waved at her. My aunt was overjoyed that she didn't respond to my mom, rather she ran away and spread the good news to everyone else. Wasn't my mom a tough lady?
But after the surgery she had to quit teaching as her speech and her right hand were a little impaired. She could still write, but not as magnificent as she used to. She was having problems with her balance and preferred not to wear her high heels anymore. She stammered a little when she spoke, but her smile was still the same. That warm smile she always gave to everyone around her.
I used to sit by her as she practiced her speech, reading aloud every newspaper and books at hand. She went through a therapy to make her right hand stronger. She was putting different things in their respective holes as her training.
I knew she was having a hard time, and she cried sometimes. But she was a survivor. And with her perseverance in therapy and her determination to get better, I admired her more. Not everyone would still have the same passion in life after going through a long, agonizing recovery she had to go through. She continued her profession and remained managing her accounting firm and later on, she could very well write her very precious signature.
And after all that, there she was on that aisle, all professional-like, respectable and very adorable in my eyes, even with her flat shoes!